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Is United/City becoming a proper rivalry now? Is it bigger than United/Liverpool?

I think it’s fair to say the Manchester Derby is becoming a rivalry it’s never been before. When Sheikh Mansour wet his finger, shut his eyes and randomly plucked out which Premier League club he wanted to play with, Manchester City were suddenly thrust into a position to compete with their glorious neighbours and so the local rivalry intensified as City went from a symbol of ridicule to a serious opponent – overnight.

In years gone by United would travel to City’s rented accommodation as favourites, nowadays (as is the case for Sunday) the bookies cannot separate them. One site however is prepared to separate them and recommends backing City at best price 2.30 with Bwin but admits it’s an ‘Extreme Bet’ their complicated algorithm has thrown up.

For me, our biggest rival has always been Liverpool due to the fact they were a successful club, almost as successful as the most successful club in the land. [19:18] Nothing whets the appetite more than a trip to Anfield or a visit from the Scousers but the Manchester Derby is now developing into exactly what it should be, United’s biggest rivalry.

Unlike the once successful Liverpool, City have always found success harder to come by, so hard in fact they even desperately boast their Third Division Playoff Final win in 1999… an honour!

With more 2nd Tier titles than 1st [7 v 3], City’s honours list tells its own sad story. (which reminds me……what are those 3 stars for?)

So obsessed are City with United, they’ve even modelled their badge on two previously iconic United badges. Surely not true? You make your own mind up >>>>>>>>>>>

Anyway, that’s enough City bashing from me, what about this weekend’s match at The Etihad?

The two sides have met each other 13 times since September 1st 2008 (the day the Sheikh took-over) with United still holding the upper hand. Our record reads: Won 8, Drawn 1, Lost 4. In that period United have scored 21 goals to City’s 19, failed to score just 4 times but also only kept a clean sheet just 4 times. United’s dominance over that period is somewhat skewed by last seasons fixtures where City out-scored United 7-1 with two highly significant results that went a very long way to costing United their 20th League Title.

Current performances see both teams apparently struggling for form despite occupying the top two spots in the Premier League and looking likely to battle out another two-horse race all the way to May next year.

With City struggling for goals but conceding very few; conversely opposed to United scoring goals for fun but leaking goals for fun too; Sunday promises to be a fascinating match where I hope both teams go toe-to-toe and have a proper Derby Day ding-dong to remember! The onus for that to happen is on City, we’re travelling to their neck of the woods and it’s down to them to come at us and see what we’ve got, if they do that I’m sure United will repay the compliment with interest. It’s possible the team that improves on its own current weakness the most – could prove to have the biggest advantage.

As far as tactics go I’m not convinced the often cagey Mancini has it in him to go toe-to-toe with United at this stage of the season whilst sitting 3pts behind us – especially having just been dumped out of the Champions League by recording the lowest ever tally of points by any English team in the knockout stages of the competition.

Having said that, how Sir Alex intends lining up is anyone’s guess. With Valencia, Anderson, Kagawa, Nani and Vidic all ruled out through injury, it appears only Tom Cleverley has any chance of being fit to face City. He (Cleverley), is having a scan on his injured calf today but the boss admits the signs are not good.

The return to fitness of Phil Jones is a welcome boost and the no doubt pumped up Rafael will be looking to prove a point. Robin van Persie gets his first taste of Manchester Derby and after hitting two goals last weekend it’s always possible Wayne Rooney’s about to embark on one of his scoring runs.

If Sir Alex gets his choice of keeper right and United find a way to be strong in midfield to dominate the ball, there’s no reason why we can’t come away with the points and a hat full of goals to move 6pts clear at the top.

This weekend Manchester really aint big enough for the two of us; something’s got to give. With a bit of luck and a lot of hard graft – it’ll be the Red 90% of the city who’ll be gloating come Monday and the blue streets of Stockport will be as gloomy as ever.

Why not check out other stats and predictions for yourself via The site was reviewed on RedRants earlier in the year and is gradually improving its algorithms and its reputation. Well worth a look if you’re a punter.

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  1. Daniele

    7 December 2012 at 15:12

    Unfortunately I’m not so sure Fergie would be open to have a go at them. City will have come at us, no doubts about it. They have to. After spending months bragging about winning the league they can’t afford to be embarrassed in their own backyard. The problem is not so much them attacking us but United having the same attitude we displayed in April. Drop back as soon as a ball it’s kicked and you’re only gonna invite more pressure, while also getting the home fans fired up. On the other hand, puff our chests out and we definitely have a chance. City aren’t used to have away teams having a go at them, and when it happens, they struggle.

    I’m still not overly optimistic, but let’s have a proper go at them just like we used to back in the days.

  2. tublu

    7 December 2012 at 15:13

    Ian, all blues know that facts and trafford fans aren’t the most commonly found bedfellows but you really are pushing that perception to extremes here. I’m gonna hazard a guess that you’re one of the many ‘out of town’ fans (not a dig at the fact that your entire club is out of town for more than the last hundred years or so) and are completely clueless about manchester and its history. This must be the case for you to have so little clue about the crest you’re referring to. this may give you some clues –

    • Ian

      7 December 2012 at 15:26

      @tublu: Is living inside the M60 classed as out of town? If it isn’t then I’m sorry to break it to you pal but…..


      • Opti

        7 December 2012 at 20:48

        @Ian: I don’t understand why location has anything to do with quality of fan, when I can watch any United game I want anywhere… does zip-code matter that much? You can even argue that Season Tickets are enabling Glazer enterprise rather than increasing their Trafford credentials (LUHG!)?

        First of all, how many players are from Manchester? Rafael might count as “home-bred” by UEFA / FA standards, but any fool knows he was purchased as part of amazing scouting department. Why is a United player from X holier than some fan from X?

        Second of all, United’s owners are not from Manchester. Fergie is not from Manchester (Scotland, eh). So why does he get a pass when there are people who have been United fans since before Fergie came along.

        Third of all, even though United has history dating back to the essence of the City of Manchester with the horrendous crash, Busby Babes, overwhelming successes, and many more tough and barren years; why do today’s children of Manchester get a hand up when us non-local fans have followed United since before they were born.

        Finally, one cannot avoid to fall victim to claims of “plastic fandom” at Manchester United. However, who, besides MUFC the Business, cares if there are 600 million United “fans” of which 550 million are plastic [i.e. don’t watch games, just align based on popularity]? Is it a crime to allow plastic fans to purchase shirts and scarves? Besides “Man U” idiots, how do they hurt United as a football club and why is there a rank in fandom based on physical location when it is ONLY the emotions and the meta-physical that matters. It’s the heart-stuttering, the tears, and senseless screaming at a monitor or friend of watching United succeed and/or fail that makes us fans — it’s EXACTLY this sense temporal togetherness that connects us on RedRants. We are all United!!

        • Redrich

          8 December 2012 at 04:19

          @Opti: Gangster’s mate, they always try to protect their turf – run off the outsiders because they can’t understand a different perspective, and then make believe that they have intellectual rights to their hood, exclusively.
          Actually, intellectual is not quite how I would term them!! 😉

    • Ian

      7 December 2012 at 15:28

      @tublu: @tublu: PS: I prefer my theory on the crest and just out of interest….can you explain what those 3 stars are about?

      • tublu

        7 December 2012 at 17:17

        Ian, originally they were a meaningless ‘design feature’ , now we could say 1 per league title, or maybe like the stripes they are 1 per river, or 1 per derby win with 5 or more goals 😉

        most reds also seem to think inside the m60 doesn’t count – re the ‘stockport’ tripe we normally get. I’ll allow M60 though, much better than M5 or M25 😉

        • Ian

          7 December 2012 at 20:17

          We’re all guilty of a bit of stereotyping, especially when we know it’ll get the desired rise! Fair play, it’s better when it’s taken well 🙂

        • Opti

          7 December 2012 at 20:28

          @tublu: HAHA. I love how City fans attach meaning to design features after the fact. What’s next? Nostradamus wants to know 😆 😆

        • Redrich

          7 December 2012 at 21:32

          @tublu: How ’bout the US101 corridor Homey – or does that offend your sense of geography.

    • Suraj

      7 December 2012 at 20:03

      @tublu: It isnt possible for all the Manchester United followers to live in a single city. Manchester cannot house 600 million people. However, it is easily possible for manchester to house all the followers that Manchester city has. It’s not Man City’s fault that there arent more but four year olds are too small to understand rivalries.

    • Opti

      7 December 2012 at 20:49

      @tublu: @Opti: ——–
      PS: Same more or less applied to City [players from abroad, owner from abroad]. Of course, the goal at city is EXACTLY to increase their fan-base by pursuing fans from abroad and bring in some form of natural financial dynamics… MCFC don’t really care about Manchester that much… it’s a business and you shouldn’t forget that.

  3. The_Philosopher

    7 December 2012 at 17:06

    Unless we crush them soon City could be our biggest rivals for a long time.

    We need to win the title this season because if we don’t it will represent the most significant shift in the power hierarchy in English football. City will know that the goal difference title was no fluke.

    With Ferguson coming to the end of is career its uncertain times for us right now. If Sir Alex had another five years we would definately put City back in their place.

    We finished second two years in a row when Mourinho’s Chelsea were dominating. I wonder how the that rivalry would have played out if Roman Abramovich hadn’t pushed the self-destruct button and fired Mourinho.

    Would we have dealt with the threat Chelsea posed if Mourinho had stayed on? Maybe. Probably. (But not with this current midfield)

    I think the rise of the blue moon will be a lot more difficult to deal with than we as United fans are willing to admit.

    They have a better squad than us. Its gonna be a massive challenge. The only one up we have on them is our mentality. In terms of talented personell they have the upper hand on that count.

    The blue half of Manchester will get even harder to deal with when Ferguson steps down.

    • tublu

      7 December 2012 at 17:21

      still on the ‘mentality’ gig ? what sort of mentality comes from 8 points behind with 5 games to go [during yoonitids world famous strong run in period] and wins ? pretty strong one I’d say.

      • The_Philosopher

        7 December 2012 at 18:27

        @tublu: Do it again and prove it wasn’t a fluke.

        Winning the title once proves nothing.

        Even Arsenal and Blackburn have won the title. Where are they now?

        City are still small time.

        You want to add credibility to your ‘City have winning metality’ argument? Then let City do it again.

        Until then shut it little man.

    • sammy

      7 December 2012 at 17:22

      @The_Philosopher: Your not fooling anyone bertie.

      3 stars on the badge for 3 league titles in 100 odd years. Massive club .

      • Redrich

        8 December 2012 at 03:39

        @sammy: “You saw me standing alone,
        without a dream in my heart, without a love of my own”,……

        Is that really how you feel, really??

  4. jimbo

    7 December 2012 at 19:24

    The 3 stars on City’s crest is for the amount of games they’ve won in their champions league history 😆

    • Opti

      7 December 2012 at 20:29

      @jimbo: LOOOOOOOOOOOL!!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  5. Opti

    7 December 2012 at 20:30

    Until City start challenging us in Europe, I cannot see them be more rivals than Liverpool with the shared history over past 20 years…

  6. Pingback: Is United/City becoming a proper rivalry now? Is it bigger than United/Liverpool? | Manchester United News

  7. colver

    7 December 2012 at 21:52

    I don’t see any fixity of the rivalry. It is absolutely fantastic to have it now. But I see this billionaire ownership as an unsustainable and passing phenomenon. Of course our ownership structure isn’t anything to write home about. But at least we are entirely funded by our own revenues (uh at least after the Glazers have taken their pound of flesh).

    Our rivalry with liverpool is purely based on tradition and while tradition is an important part of football, its a bit of a joke because Liverpool v Manchester United has never been a title decider.

    When they were at their peak in the 80s we were in the wilderness and the tables turned entirely ever since the 90s. I’ll always envy their dominance in Europe which we never really achieved but our total dominance of the Premier League over the last 20 years (and counting!!!) is never going to be equalled in our lifestime.

    • Redrich

      8 December 2012 at 03:28

      @colver: Liver..who?? 😆 😆

  8. Owen

    8 December 2012 at 04:31

    Bobby Charlton : ‘There are certain players that are talismen and when they go on to a football field they take everybody with them
    ‘Roy Keane just had that thing. He could change the game with the timing of one tackle. I played with some good players but I think I missed out by not playing with him

    Miss You Keano. 🙁

    • Redrich

      8 December 2012 at 04:50

      @Owen: Love it mate. But have to add that our beloved Paul Scholes has a similar effect.
      Miss Keano though. 😥 😥

  9. Redrich

    8 December 2012 at 04:43

    When Mancini wraps that ugly blue-and-white scarf around his neck, do you think ii’s because;-

    a). He has a sore throat?
    b). He thinks pale blue and white is a bold fashion statement?
    c). He thinks that the citeh players really dig his devotion to the team colors?
    d). If he doesn’t, he’ll get fired?

    I’ll take your comments off the wall! 😈 😈

  10. Ian

    8 December 2012 at 05:42

    I think the biggest question hanging over tomorrow’s game is:

    Will Joe Hart be secretly wearing his Man Utd underpants?!


  11. colver

    8 December 2012 at 09:52

    Ian, the second big question is whether United scouts will be at the game to run the rule over Joe Hart in preparation for a January move :p

  12. colver

    8 December 2012 at 10:47

    Out of curiosity does anyone else think going for Mohamed Diane in January is a good idea? Rumour is he has a £4 million release clause. He has been great this season and as Fletcher is clearly past it from his displays I think we need a player like Diane to add some steel to our midfield.

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